Sidley lays off more than 100 lawyers

Sidley confirmed it would be laying off 89 associates and staff attorneys along with approximately 140 staff in its US offices.

Sidley Austin today confirmed it was laying off more than 200 lawyers and staff as job losses in the US legal market continued to mount.

In a statement first published on US legal blog Abovethelaw.com, Sidley said the economy continued to present “unprecedented challenges”. It added that it remained in a strong position to deal with those challenges, but was not immune to the current turmoil.

“Accordingly, we must continue to aggressively manage expenses in the face of the global economic downturn, and we have concluded that we must do what many other law firms have found it necessary to do: reduce the number of lawyers and staff for economic reasons,” the statement continued.

Sidley confirmed it would be laying off 89 associates and staff attorneys along with approximately 140 staff in its US offices.

A redundancy consultation in Sidley’s London office, which is expected to result in job cuts for 17 associates or more than 20 per cent of the City total, was also announced today.

Sidely said today’s move was necessary to align its staffing levels to the volume of work it expects over the next 12 to 18 months.

“A proper alignment of capacity to demand is not just about financial performance,” the statement added. “It is necessary for keeping all of our personnel fully productive and professionally satisfied and for the maintenance of our overall morale and competitive position.”

Earlier this month Sidley posted its financial results for 2008, showing a 7.4 per cent in total revenue from $1.38bn up to $1.48bn and a 4 per cent rise in average profit from $1.38m to $1.43m (6 Feb 2009 ).

Earlier today Texas firm Baker Botts announced it was also laying off a number of lawyers and staff (12 March 2009 ).